Walking With Dinosaurs 1080p Video
Walking with Dinosaurs is a 1999 six-part nature documentary television miniseries created by Tim Haines and produced by the BBC Science Unit the Discovery Channel and BBC Worldwide, in association with TV Asahi, ProSieben and France 3. Envisioned as the first "Natural History of Dinosaurs", Walking with Dinosaurs depicts dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals as living animals in the style of a traditional nature documentary. The series first aired on the BBC in the United Kingdom in 1999 with narration by Kenneth Branagh. The series was subsequently aired in North America on the Discovery Channel in 2000, with Avery Brooks replacing Branagh.
Walking With Dinosaurs 1080p Video
Sometimes referred to as the biggest science documentary series ever made, Walking with Dinosaurs was broadcast to record audiences. With 15 million people viewing the first airing of the first episode, the series remains by far the most watched science programme in British television history. Walking with Dinosaurs was released to critical acclaim and won numerous awards, including among others two BAFTA Awards, three Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. Most scientists applauded Walking with Dinosaurs for its use of scientific research and for its portrayal of dinosaurs as animals and not movie monsters. Some scientific criticism was leveled at the narration not making clear what was speculation and what was not, and a handful of specific scientific errors.
Envisioned as the first "Natural History of Dinosaurs" and a series that would provide viewers with "a window into a lost world", Walking with Dinosaurs explores life in the Mesozoic era, particularly dinosaurs, in the format of a traditional nature documentary.
Haines suggested that the same techniques employed in the production of Jurassic Park could be used to create a series of nature documentary programmes. According to Haines, the aim of Walking with Dinosaurs was to "create an immersive experience that was both spectacular and informative". Haines investigated the costs that would be involved in the project. He first initially approached Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the company responsible for creating the visual effects in Jurassic Park, which projected a cost of $10,000 per second of dinosaur footage, far too expensive for a television series. Though Jurassic Park had only nine minutes of dinosaur footage, the series envisioned by Haines would require three hours. As a result, Haines initially changed his idea to the programme mainly consisting of footage of plants, insects and landscapes with dinosaurs appearing only occasionally.
Production of Walking with Dinosaurs took 18 months. It was essential to the vision of Walking with Dinosaurs that the age of the dinosaurs be represented as accurately as possible based on current scientific understanding. In addition to Haines's own research, the production team for the first six months devoted all their time to research and carefully chose particular moments during the Mesozoic that were most well-studied and well-understood by scientists and which would be representative of the era and showcase interesting animals. In addition to the producers doing their own research, over a hundred experts were consulted for every aspect of the series.
Slowly, the production team focused in on animals about whom sufficient information was known to create larger narratives. As an example, Coelophysis was selected for New Blood (the first episode) because it was a typical early dinosaur which scientists knew a lot about. Since the series also aimed to showcase the environment and other animals around the "star" dinosaurs, Coelophysis also presented an opportunity since it had been found at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, one of the world's richest fossil beds. The behaviour of the animals depicted was primarily based on fossil evidence when possible (such as bite marks and fossil gut contents) and on behaviours in modern animals. Sometimes, behaviour was just reasoned guesses. For instance, the small pterosaur Anurognathus is shown in Time of the Titans (the second episode) to use the massive sauropod Diplodocus as a feeding platform to hunt insects. This was based on certain modern birds; there is no evidence of such behaviour in pterosaurs and it would be difficult to prove with fossil evidence.
Mike Milne and Framestore, consisting of fifteen designers, began working on animating the dinosaurs at the same time as Haines and James were shooting footage for the series. Production of several hours of high quality photoreal animation had never been done before, not even for feature films. The process of making the computer models began with creating clay maquettes, highly detailed small-scale physical models. Several palaeontologists were consulted during the process of making the maquettes. In addition to David Martill, the consultants of Walking with Dinosaurs included, among others, Kent Stevens, Thomas R. Holtz, David Norman, David Unwin, Ken Carpenter, Jo Wright and Michael J. Benton. At times, details changed during production. For instance, the sauropod necks of Walking with Dinosaurs were at first fully erect before being altered on the advice of the sauropod neck expert Kent Stevens. In September 1998, Milne held a talk at the 46th Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy (SVPCA) at the University of Bournemouth, showcasing early renderings from the pilot and the series and gathering feedback from the palaeontologists in attendance.
Ben Bartlett composed the score for Walking with Dinosaurs. Bartlett was then working with the BBC, having produced some station ident themes for BBC Radio 3. Bartlett was encouraged to accept the duties of composing the series' music at the behest of Haines and James. Bartlett wrote different leitmotifs in separate styles for each episode, citing the different themes and settings presented in each episode as inspiration, elaborating, "I tried to create a different sound world for each episode of Walking With Dinosaurs. That was easy, as they all had different moods. The first episode is all about heat and bloodlust, parched deserts and so on, while the second one was pastoral, peaceful, and beautiful, about dinosaurs living in symbiosis with the forests. And so on." The process of creating the score was that Bartlett would first watch the unscored episodes together with the directors, discussing with them possible music, and then write the music and produce a sample for approval. At times, this was difficult since the production of the computer graphics fell behind and some scenes were not finished in time for the recording sessions.
Three special episodes of Walking with Dinosaurs have been produced since the end of the original series. The first special was The Ballad of Big Al (2000), which closely followed the format of the original series but mostly focused on a single individual animal, an Allosaurus specimen nicknamed "Big Al". In response to complaints from scientists that many details in the original series seemed speculative, The Ballad of Big Al explained virtually every decision in detail and how it was based on fossil evidence. The two succeeding specials, The Giant Claw (2002) and Land of Giants (2003),[d] starred wildlife presenter Nigel Marven as a "time-travelling zoologist", traveling back in time and interacting with various dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.[e]
Walking with Dinosaurs was released to critical acclaim. Most scientists applauded Walking with Dinosaurs for its use of scientific research and for its portrayal of dinosaurs as animals and not movie monsters. Some reviews were dismissives and contemptuous. Walking with Dinosaurs was praised in The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent and in The Independent on Sunday. Negative reviews were mostly founded on the series in some cases appearing to present speculation as fact. Nancy Banks-Smith in her review of Walking with Dinosaurs also worried that the success of the series would lead to the BBC exploiting its appeal to younger viewers and launching merchandise, writing that "I begin to think that the whole thing is geared to selling chocolate dinosaur eggs to five-year-olds".
Online reviewers were largely positive. Common Sense Media praised the program, giving it five stars out of five and saying that, "Somebody had a great idea, which was to make a documentary series about dinosaurs, but with a twist. The ageing Ornithocheirus on a desperate final flight to his mating grounds, the sauropod hatchlings struggling for survival in the late Jurassic, the migrating herds and the undersea life of 150 million years ago would all seem as real as a nature program about polar bears or snow monkeys." Walking with Dinosaurs was also praised by IGN, which referred to it as a fascinating documentary with excellent narratives, video quality and audio quality. The score of Walking with Dinosaurs was praised in the music technology magazine Sound on Sound as "extraordinary", "strikingly cinematic" and "head and shoulders above previous efforts in the same genre".
The success of Walking with Dinosaurs resulted in the creation of both exhibits and traveling exhibitions. Only a few months after the series had aired, Walking with Dinosaurs: The Exhibition was put up in the summer of 2000 at the Yorkshire Museum in York, England. The exhibition featured an assortment of different animal exhibits, each having some connection to the series, including props, maquettes, newly made models and actual fossil material. Among the fossils on display was a skeleton of a Plateosaurus. Also included in the exhibition were a video and TV monitor playing The Making Of Walking with Dinosaurs. The opening of the exhibition was attended by consultants of the series, such as David Martill. The guest of honour was Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.